A wardrobe was essential to hold clothing and other personal articles since it was not customary to have closets in homes in the mid-1800s. Mr. Lincoln used this walnut wardrobe in his bedroom. He sold it at the 1861 moving sale held shortly before leaving for Washington.
The Lincolns purchased a parlor suite of mahogany furniture upholstered in black horsehair fabric in the mid-1850s. They put most of it in storage to use when they returned from the White House. Lincoln stretched out on this long sofa to read or think about his next law case. Upholstered sofa with wooden crest rail, open scroll carved at midpoint, narrow arms, casters.
Mahogany veneer, wood, horsehair. H 97.2 cm, W 219.6 cm, D 67 cm
This chair stood in the front hall of the Lincoln Home for many years next to a matching hat rack. Lincoln gave or sold both in 1861 to the Superintendent of Schools who had an office down the hall from his law office. The upholstery is made up of 31 different velvets in a tumbling block pattern. The Superintendent’s descendants gave both artifacts back to the Lincoln Home.
Wood, velvet, ceramic. H 112.1 cm, W 42.6 cm, D 38.2 cm
Mary Lincoln’s brother-in-law, Ninian Wirt Edwards, gave this to Abraham Lincoln. It is mentioned in newspaper accounts and appears in photographs and drawings of the rooms. It held a wide variety of books since Lincoln often met with law clients in the Back Parlor where this secretary stands. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln also retired to this room to read Shakespeare, Dickens and the poetry of Robert Burns.
Walnut, wood, glass, felt. H 210 cm, W 133 cm, D 57.5 cm
Interest in the Lincolns’ home increased after Mr. Lincoln became President. Harper’s Weekly newspaper published this image of the Lincoln home in 1864. A small addition off the back of the house was added by the Tilton family, the renters who had written to Mr. Lincoln for permission to add on to the kitchen.
Shortly after Lincoln was nominated for the presidency, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper sent an artist to draw several rooms in Lincoln’s home to help readers learn more about the Lincolns. The pictures were very useful when the National Park Service restored the house to determine what objects had been in the rooms when the Lincolns lived there.
Stereographs of famous places and things were popular in the mid-to-late 1800s, including items associated with the Lincoln family. A dresser topped with a mirror and several side chairs were situated in the guest room. The Lincolns installed the Venetian blinds in the window.
Stereographs of famous places and things were popular in the mid-to-late 1800s, including items associated with the Lincoln family. According to the note on the stereograph, this silver serving set was presented to Lincoln before his first nomination in 1860. It appears to be on a table in the sitting room or dining room.